A few KirkYouth guys have tweeted things about girls in general. Here are two of my favorites:
“If women ruled the world there would be no wars. Just a bunch of jealous countries not talking to each other…”
“A woman’s heart should be so lost in Christ that a man needs to seek Him to find her.”
All kidding aside, in my past I’ve known two ladies who are extreme examples of the departure from being a real woman according to the Bible. One acted more manly than some of the men I know, the other was an emotional sponge. The Bible talks about a woman somewhere in the middle: strong & confident, but not dominant; emotionally connected, but not hysterical. And unfortunately, being a real woman IS confusing because of all the mixed messages about IDENTITY, like:
- Love your body the way it is…but make sure you’re tall and thin
- Don’t let your sexuality be the only thing that defines you…but be sexy and attractive to guys
- Be happy with your natural beauty…but we’ll define “beauty” by the models in the magazines
- Don’t get an STD…but if you’re normal, you’re sexually active
- Be confident and outspoken…but not too aggressive or abrasive
- Embrace your ethnicity…but we’ll still hold up a white European ideal.
Girls are taught one thing at church, see something else reinforced at home, hear something else at a restaurant after church, see something else at school, and wonder about the ads and the magazine covers. What do you do? How do you navigate that?
Well let’s see what the Bible has to say about a REAL Woman. We’re going to talk about three big questions that girls have:
1. Who am I? (talking about identity)
2. Do I matter? (talking about significance)
3. Why am I here? (talking about purpose)
Proverbs 31 – The Ideal Godly Woman
For the rest of your life, you will hear people teach from this passage about being feminine, about modesty, about character. So I want to set up what this is so from now until forever you can remember what we talked about today. Proverbs 31 describes the “wife of noble character” and lists several qualities of the ideal godly woman. So if you hear someone describe the Proverbs 31 woman, that’s a good thing. For the sake of time, we’re not going to read it all, but I do want to point out how this passage of Scripture gets wrapped up. We’re going to build off this verse for the rest of the morning. Here’s Proverbs 31.30:
Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
What is charm?
Charm is favor or acceptance; deceptive means to disappoint or betray. So you could re-read the first part of this verse like this: “Favor and acceptance will disappoint you or betray you.”
This helps us answer the Who Am I (identity) question.
Many girls are afraid to be the real version of themselves, so they wear masks. And you wear masks because you are afraid of rejection (if someone knew the real you and didn’t like you, that would be very painful).
But it’s like running on a treadmill; you use a lot of energy and go nowhere.
You use a lot of energy and facebook time to be someone you’re not so someone you don’t really know will think you’re someone they’d like to care about, until you stop putting forth the effort, then they won’t like you because they like a version of you that wasn’t really you. When you wear masks, no one can reject you, but you don’t give anyone the chance to love the real you, either.
Charm is deceptive. If your life is consumed by being accepted at any cost, that pursuit, those relationships will betray you. You don’t need to be a total diva or a drama queen to be accepted. Because in Christ, you already are.
What does this say about beauty?
This helps us answer the Do I Matter (significance) question
The Bible says “God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.” – (1 Sam.16.7; MSG)
Girls are assaulted with the idea that beauty is what defines you; that if you’re not beautiful, you’re not valuable. Ladies, this is not true.
- You are important enough to matter to the Creator.
- You are significant enough to be part of His plans
- You are gifted enough to play a role in the work He is doing on earth.
- You were created to have a relationship with God, the King of the universe, and the Bible says “The king is enthralled by your beauty.”
- And according to Romans 8.38, that means YOU are a prized possession that God isn’t letting go of.
You are valuable in Christ, so your response is to become like Christ.
Have you ever noticed that groups of friends tend to dress the same, act the same, do their hair the same, talk the same…? I went to lunch at Union a few months ago and saw a whole table of girls with brown hair and the same black North Face jackets. Who you hang around influences you.
Just as we become like our friends we hang out with, when we have a relationship with Christ and “hang out” with Him, we’ll become like him. And when you start becoming like Christ, you start revealing his beauty.
If you become exactly like Jesus, then you’ll be proud of who you are. You won’t be ashamed of anything about yourself. As we become more like Jesus, we’ll naturally be someone people want to be around-just as people were with Christ.
Who, then, is to be praised?
A woman who fears the Lord.
This helps us answer the Why Am I Here (purpose) question
This doesn’t mean if you have a lot of friends and you are well liked and you like what you see in the mirror that’s a bad thing.
What that means is we don’t praise people just because they’re pretty or popular. Some girls will sacrifice anything to be liked or to look good.
Not so with you. You don’t have to be the funniest, craziest, loosest, partier, rebel to get attention. You have captured the gaze of God. And in response to that, you fear the Lord.
Your purpose is to be so lost in Christ that a man has to seek Him to find you.
How Do You Respond To This?
Charm is deceptive – ladies, don’t spend your life chasing acceptance. Because in Christ you already are.
Beauty is fleeting – some of you will have children in the future; some of you might get breast cancer later in life; all of you will grow old… and these things will alter the way your body looks. Beauty is a vapor. It comes and goes. Trends change. Friends change. Opinions change. But the constant is that you matter to God, and God created you as his masterpiece.
A woman who fears the LORD is to be praised – get lost in Christ and you will not have to navigate the opinions of people.
A real woman is confident in knowing who she is in Christ
A real woman realizes her significance is in Christ
And a real woman will do everything she can with her life to honor Christ.